After popular demand from XC and the indoor season, MileStat' Jim McGrath continues the feature of 10 stories from the state meet. He was at the 5A6A State Meet and had no instructions on what to cover, but needless to say these are all some interesting stories!
#2. Robinson Thrower Maria Muzzio Caps Stellar Prep Career
One of the greatest throwing careers in Virginia history began winding down over this weekend as Robinson's Maria Muzzio took her final State championship throws.
Muzzio will finish her prep career in two weeks at the New Balance Nationals, throwing the discus in the Emerging Elite category, and shot-put in the championship round.
Muzzio opened on Friday with the girls' 6A discus, facing off against top-seeded Taylor Gorum of Grassfield. Her first two throws of 124-0 and 126-5 had her in contention for the lead. However, Gorum's second throw of 137-10 would prove to be the winning toss, and Muzzio struggled with her next three throws before launching a final disc of 132-5 to cement the silver medal. Teammate Corey Payne placed fifth with a best throw of 111-5 to give the Rams 12 well needed points.
While Muzzio was throwing, her field coach stayed busy filming her throws, offering footwork advice and words of encouragement "build some momentum and drive through!"
This coach should know a great deal about what makes the thrower tick. After all, Rob Muzzio is also her father.
Yet, this father is legitimate as a throwing coach, and pole vault coach, and hurdle coach, and probably any other event he would choose to work with. From the mid-1980's through 1996, the elder Muzzio was one of America's brightest stars in the decathlon, the youngest NCAA champion and an All-American at George Mason University, as well as 1992 Olympian who placed fifth in Barcelona and scored a high of 8,237 points.
Somewhat surprisingly, this is only his first year of coaching the Robinson throwers, but Maria Muzzio readily admits, "It's nice to have him."
Muzzio will continue her athletic career at Colorado State and has chosen quite a unique major - equine science. How does one discover such a major?
"My Mom has owned horses since she was 13. We run the horses in marathons."
Like the 26.2 mile version?
"Our marathons are 50, 75 and 100 miles," said Muzzio. Asked about the comparison between her horses and the thoroughbreds that run in the Kentucky Derby, she added, "Those are more like the sprinters. We ride the distance runners."
There is no hiding her enthusiasm for the next step of her journey.
"I was looking into studying animal science and Colorado State is world renowned for equine science. I'm so excited about it and their coach, Brian Bedard, is amazing."
On Saturday, Muzzio placed second in the shot-put, a mere half inch behind Alexus Foreman of T.C. Williams, who tossed the eight-pound ball 43-7 on her opening throw and held on for the win. Muzzio's 16 points helped Mike Kiernan's Robinson girls' team to a seventh place finish with 31 points.